Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Lion And The Gazelle

Meet Gilbert.

Gilbert is from Burundi, but after nearly being burned alive as a victim of religious strife, he left it.  Running.  And he hasn't stopped since.  Running has taken him to some pretty damn fast marathons, some of which have been representing his country in the Olympics, and it brought him to Texas.

Gilbert's personal story of survival, strength, and success is a revelation for us all.  His Austin-based run training group - Gilbert's Gazelles - is a revelation for those who want to cover ground, fast and on foot. 

During my time in Austin, I've had the pleasure to be an interloper in Gilbert's group (which I should clarify is not just for NCAA All-Americans and the like).  Their energy, enthusiasm, and warm welcome made 5:45 am track workouts *gasp* something I looked forward to.  I absolutely recommend giving this group a look-see if you ever find yourself in Austin.

Gilbert was moving so fast that I could only get the banner to stand still

And I couldn't help but be reminded of one of my favorite - and particularly apropos - proverbs:

In Africa every morning a gazelle awakens knowing that it must outrun the fastest lion if it wants to stay alive.

Every morning a lion wakes up knowing that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

It makes no difference whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up you had better be running.

Or already heading back to bed if you are a pre-dawn-track-workout-running gazelle of Gilbert's.

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